Saudi Gazette Editorial, 19-8-2013
Iraq problems started with war
Narrow-minded political leadership in Baghdad
Nothing reveals the calamitous failure of American adventure in Iraq more than the fact that 10 years after the war, this Arab country remains one of the most unstable and one of the most violent in the world. And nothing reveals the Iraqi leadership’s shortsightedness than their move to enlist US help to set things right.
More than 1,000 Iraqis were killed in terror-related attacks in July, the deadliest month since 2008. August looks to be no better. … People are getting killed in terrorist bombings, internecine strife and security operations.
If the Baghdad government has its way, very soon Iraqis may get killed in US drone attacks as well. Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Friday that Iraqi forces need US help to stem the tide of violence. US assistance package, he suggested, could include a limited number of advisers, intelligence analysis and surveillance assets like lethal drones.
Zebari seems to be forgetting that what is happening in Iraq now is only a continuation, in an intensified form, of something that began with the 2003 war and a decade-long occupation.
The fact remains that the dark forces, foreign or indigenous, now playing havoc with Iraq’s future, are a direct result of the US invasion and the punitive sanctions that preceded it.
After the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush, in an attempt to drum up support for the war tried to link Saddam Hussein with Al-Qaeda. But Iraq became a “safe haven” for an assortment of terrorist groups only after the invasion. These groups could win Iraqi backing for two reasons: Any people would resent the presence of foreign troops in their country, especially if the occupying forces employ high-handed tactics to enforce their will. By excluding Baathists from military and government services, the occupying authorities polarized the Iraqi society.
Now Washington is trying to present Syrian instability as the core of the problem for Iraq.
The fact is even if Syria were to remain an ocean of calm, Iraq would still be unstable and on the boil. The reason is the faulty political deal stitched together by Washington which by effectively excluding Sunnis from all decision-making powers sharpened sectarian divisions. … [Prime-Minister Maliki] deployed the state security apparatus against his Sunni critics saying they have sympathies with the banned Baath party. …
Narrow-minded political leadership in Baghdad and reliance on an outside power who was the source of most of Iraq’s present ills may make the region more volatile and more explosive.
Flashback: Text of the letter addressed by
H.E. Mr. Saddam Hussein,
President of the Republic of Iraq, to the General Assembly
Iraq Watch, September 19, 2002
In a speech that was preceded and accompanied by noisy propaganda [..] the U.S. President has spoken at the General Assembly. But instead of paying attention to common issues of particular concern to humanity at large, such as security in its large and real sense, the freedom which is linked to true independence, the balanced economic development that would put an end to poverty, or mitigate its fatal impact and establish for a life free of hatred, envy, and chronic and incurable disease, with collective responsibility based on collective solidarity, as well as enhancing development and the precedence of self-denial over selfishness by which greed reigns over man…; instead of all this and other equally important issues, the U.S. president, in a narrow-minded view presented the security problems of his own country, and the sacrifice it has suffered, since the events of September 11. …
He jumped to the issue of Iraq, without any introduction or acceptable progression. He portrayed this issue as if it were the most dangerous situation, not only for the life, security, and future of the United States, but for the life, future, and security of the whole world.
Along with his generalizations, which implied deliberate insinuations, he presented the utmost distorted statement which reflects his underestimation of the intelligence of the representatives of the countries listening to him, when he talked about the alleged present or future Iraqi nuclear, biological, and chemical threats…
He said that the Iraqi people deserve to have a democratic government along the American style… The U.S. president talked about the importance of applying democracy by the Government of Iraq. He pretended to care for the people of Iraq after he and other presidents before him have killed by the use of weapons, including depleted uranium, and by the blockade which is now more than twelve years old, more than one million and seven hundred thousand innocent Iraqis out of a population of twenty five million citizens.
I wonder how many other peoples of the world will he, and the coming U.S. administrations will kill, if they choose to “care” for other peoples after Iraq?!
When the U.S. administration realized that it was necessary to have an international cover for using force against Iraq […] it changed the issue and its direct accusations against Iraq by something new. It began to shed crocodile tears on international law, and the necessity to comply with, and implement the resolutions of international legitimacy, alleging that Iraq is not complying with Security Council resolutions, especially concerning the inspectors. According to the U.S. administration [..] Iraq has the intention or has developed nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and according to the same false allegation it may give such weapons to terrorist organizations that pose a threat to world security.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Our people, and ourselves, from our position of responsibility, have defended the principles and values that you have willingly put down in the UN Charter, and the purposes for which the Security Council was created, i.e. to preserve security and to extablish peace. …
By the stance we have taken, we have defended the UN Charter, and the principles by which and on which the Security Council was established. We have suffered a lot of harm from the policy of arrogance and aggression adopted by successive U.S. administrations. These administrations have violated the principles of the UN Charter and international law….
What Iraq wants is the respect of the principles of the UN Charter and international law, whether regarding its own interests and sovereignty or those of the other member-states of the United Nations. On this basis, Iraq was, and still is, ready to cooperate with the Security Council and international organizations. However, Iraq rejects any transgression by whosoever at the expense of its rights, sovereignty, security, and independence, that is in contradiction with the principles of the Charter and the international law. …
The blockade imposed upon Iraq has been in place for more than twelve years now, during which time our assets and oil revenues have been frozen, and we are unable to use them except through an inefficient system already proven to be unfeasible.
Substantial amounts of our revenues have been illegitimately seized in a manner tantamount to looting and, therefore, contrary to the meaning of the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter. ….
When their war-planes are detected by Iraqi radars, they bombard our radar units together with any civilian and military installations in the area. Any Iraqi fire opened against their war-planes in our own air-space is considered an “Iraqi aggression” against them, as if their war-planes are flying in US or British airspace.
Therefore, Iraq has been keen to see this issue discussed between the Security Council and Iraq, through the United Nations Secretary General and the representatives of Iraq, with a view to reaching a balanced formula, based on the principles of the Charter and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, as a comprehensive solution which should bring to an end the cyclone of American accusations and fabricated crises against Iraq.
At the same time this would reassure Iraq with regard to its security, sovereignty, territorial integrity and its right to choosing its own way without interference in accordance with the rules established in the Charter of the United Nations.
Thus Iraq would live in freedom as it is the right of others to live in freedom, in accordance with the Will of God and the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter as well.